They take food topics further, continually inspiring chefs to create and explore food and culinary horizons.
Steven Mayer, Publisher
As publisher of Plate since its first issue in 2002, Mayer has nurtured the start-up magazine into a sustainable business with a unique niche and lasting value. “I’m very proud of our people, and very proud of the products we produce,” said Mayer. He brings to the magazine more than 30 years of experience in foodservice publishing. Prior to Plate, Steve was publishing director of Reed Business Information’s Foodservice Group including Restaurants & Institutions, R&I Marketplace and Chain Leader. When Steve’s not out talking about Plate, you’ll likely find him dining out with friends. His favorite meal: Osso buco, with risotto and a bottle of Montepulciano (or Oregon Pinot Noir).
Gerald White, Associate Publisher
Jerry White has spent his entire business life closely involved with the restaurant industry. He has worked in foodservice operations and in distribution, and then in media sales, holding the positions of national sales manager, associate publisher and group publisher with several of the restaurant industry’s leading media companies. White joined Plate in 2010. He is an active participant in many industry associations and is largely credited with popularizing the term “onsite” to replace the outdated “noncommercial” foodservice term. He is a graduate of Quincy University in Quincy, Ill. and later did post-graduate work in journalism at the University of Kansas. For his last meal White requests a margherita pizza with Pahlmeyer Chardonnay.
Chandra Ram, Editor
As the editor of Plate Chandra Ram lives and breathes food and what’s hot in restaurants today. She spent more than 15 years in the foodservice industry as a cook and consulting chef before turning to food writing and editing. Ram holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Loyola University Chicago, an associate's degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and has passed the certificate level of the Court of Master Sommeliers exam. This year she’s honored to be giving the commencement address at her culinary alma mater. Ram is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the James Beard Foundation Award chef/restaurant judging committee and co-chair of the annual Meals on Wheels Chicago Celebrity Chef Ball. What would this esteemed food editor have for her last meal? Fried chicken and champagne of course.
Liz Grossman, Managing Editor
Having mastered espresso, scooped ice cream at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and eaten grasshoppers in Mexico, Grossman has proven she is ready for any Plate assignment. Before joining Plate as managing editor in 2007, she spent six years covering Chicago’s dining, shopping, culture, and nightlife scenes for Modern Luxury, Inc., where she served as senior editor of CS magazine and editor-in-chief of the visitor guide, Front Desk Chicago. Her freelance writing has appeared in national publications including Newsweek and Robb Report.
Dani Friedland, New Media Editor
Friedland researches, writes and edits online content for Plate and its sister publications. She also manages social media outreach and facilitates multimedia storytelling for Plate and its sister publications. Friedland holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College. A born foodie, Friedland’s food writing goes all the way back to a fifth grade paper on her deep and abiding love for cinnamon. She relishes smoked pork chops, heated on the grill, with grilled pineapple in a soy sauce and ginger marinade.
Queenie Burns, Creative Director
Queenie Burns keeps Plate looking beautiful, issue after issue. Burns was art director of Restaurants & Institutions magazine for 18 years and has won more than 80 design awards, including 15 national awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors, nine Jesse H. Neal Awards, and two Jesse H. Neal Certificates of Merit. She is the vice president of design and production at Marketing & Technology Group and is on the design faculty of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Magazine Publishing Project.
Bill McDowell, Vice President & Editorial Director
McDowell oversees editorial operations for Plate and sister publications Meatingplace, CarneTec, CarneTec Brasil, and HOTELS. “A good editor needs to set his ego aside and let the writer tell the story,” advises McDowell. Having won several awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors and three Jesse H. Neal Awards, McDowell knows what it takes to succeed. He enjoys how the staff feeds off each other’s creativity, energy and skills. Previously, he was editorial director of the Food & Beverage Group at VerticalNet and associate publisher/editor-in-chief of Chain Leader.
Director of Marketing and Events
Hachmeister orchestrates marketing and event efforts for Plate as well as its sister brands Meatingplace, CarneTec, CarneTec Brasil and HOTELS. She is responsible for creating and executing the multi-platform marketing programs that have helped Plate, PlateOnline and Plate events grow in prominence and market share. Prior to coming to Plate, she was a marketing VP for a Chicago design firm and a marketing executive for Reed Business Foodservice and Hospitality publications.
Chris Cassidy has been photographing recipes for Plate magazine since its inception. For each Plate shoot, Cassidy collaborates with his wife, Nancy Natow-Cassidy, who serves as chief props stylist. Nancy searches far and wide for the perfect table settings, accouterments and other aesthetic details to capture the essence of each dish the story in which it will appear. In demand by clients across the country, Nancy holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Foods in Business from NYU. Also working closely with Chris and Nancy on every Plate shoot since its inception is food stylist Carol Smoler. Carol is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier and IACP.
The editors of Plate are lucky enough to work with a wildly talented crop of professional freelance writers to produce feature stories for each issue. Along with a varied culinary skill-set, Plate freelancers share a true passion for food, cooking, and seeking out the chefs who strive to take their recipes to the next level. Regular contributors include professional cookbook authors like Kate Leahy and Jody Eddy, esteemed journalists like former New York Times deputy food editor Regina Schrambling, Kendall college culinary instructor/author Jim DeWan and James Beard award-winning writer Brad Johnson. Professional chefs also contribute to each issue, whether they are pouring out their personal stories in the Amuse column or revealing the technique behind the remake of a classic in Plate Expectations.